Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Arts Council England


  Arts Council England welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee inquiry into new media and the creative industries. We note that the Select Committee is undertaking two inquiries concurrently: this inquiry into new media and the creative industries and, the other into heritage. We believe that both these aspects of the creative environment should be viewed together and would therefore encourage the Select Committee to read our responses in conjunction with each other.

  This submission sets out our role, issues and policies for the creative industries. For your reference, we have also included additional supporting information in an appendix.


  Arts Council England is the national development agency for the arts in England. Between 2005 and 2008 we are investing £1.7 billion of public funds in the arts from Government and the National Lottery.

  We are committed to making the widest range of arts activities available to people across the country. To achieve this we cross geographical, artistic and technological boundaries. We encourage a wide range of artists to distribute their work in England and internationally. Additionally we support visits to England from outstanding international artists and arts organisations. We fund work to be presented within different environments, from traditional venues such as theatres and galleries, across urban contexts such as in hospitals, schools, prisons and people's homes. We support innovation through project funding and training in digital practices for presentation across a variety of emerging platforms: the Internet, wireless environments, interactive broadcast and formats such as DVD, CD and digital photography. We also support traditional distributed media such as print.

  Arts Council England has set out ambitions for the arts. From 2003 to 2006, these are:

    —  prioritise individual artists;

    —  work with funded arts organisations to help them thrive rather than just survive;

    —  place cultural diversity at the heart of our work;

    —  prioritise young people and Creative Partnerships; and

    —  maximise growth in the arts.

  We are also committed to creating a modern and progressive Arts Council.

  We work with a wide range of partners. We work with the following to promote technological innovation: the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, the UK Film Council, Regional Development Agencies, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Higher Education institutions.

  Arts Council England:

    —  funds and supports the infrastructure for the arts in this country, investing over £325 million annually in regular funding to 1,100 arts organisations;

    —  invests £87 million annually in individuals and organisations through our open application programme, Grants for the Arts;

    —  invests £32 million a year in our Creative Partnerships programme—recognised as a crucial component in ensuring creativity in children and young people; and[1]

    —  invests £26 million a year in supporting strategic developmental activity and partnerships.

  We recognise the importance of creativity and the arts to individual fulfilment, civic renewal and to the economy. The creative industries account for more than 8% of growth in the UK.[2] The arts are a key driver and increasingly are part of the way in which people make their living. They provide the core skills development in schools and higher education for all the creative industries. Often they provide the career gateways—the first jobs—for creative entrepreneurs and workers across the creative industries.

  The arts play a dynamic role within the new media landscape, engineering concepts and testing user relationships. Artists and arts organisations are robust and critical partners in industrial projects and research and development. For example Blast Theory and the Mixed Reality Lab at Nottingham University are key partners in the European IPREG project with Sony. We welcome the opportunities that new media and the creative industries offer for developing creativity, for developing art forms, and for developing greater access for more people to arts and culture. We see opportunities for building bridges between arts organisations, promoters and producers, the commercial sector, national broadcasters, and education and training providers to create a more integrated and sustainable national framework for the arts. We also recognise these new opportunities bring new challenges in terms of the law and intellectual property rights. We believe that Arts Council England has a role to play in developing the opportunities and addressing these challenges.

  We have a broader definition of the creative industries that goes beyond the parameters of the Select Committee's inquiry. Our definition includes music, theatre, dance, the visual arts including architecture and craft, fashion, animation, design, and software development, publishing, broadcasting, film and the moving image. This wider definition is grounded in our understanding of the arts sector and a recognition of the many new methods of working and creativity that are constantly developing. We use this broader definition in our response.

  We recognise that in some areas, such as music, we are a small but influential player in a multi-billion pound industry; in others, such as dance, we are the main funder. We are increasingly seeking partnerships with those working directly in the creative industries to maximise the value of our investment and to deliver our ambitions for the arts, seeking to take the arts to places and to people who have previously not had access to them, and making Britain the best place for artists to live and work. We encourage different sectors of the creative environment to work together for their mutual benefit. One example of this is the work of architect David Adjaye has done for the Frieze Art Fair, which has linked design with the international art market.

  Our work as a national development agency helps develop and sustain the creative economy in a number of ways:

    —  Creative people: we promote creativity at all life stages through our targeted programmes and work with our funded organisations. We believe that creativity is crucial to the UK's "value added" economy and skills development. We also support a wide range of organisations across the country where participatory and educational activities help build the audiences and artists of the future.

    —  Creative places: neighbourhoods, cities and regions have been transformed through arts-led regeneration. Key examples where our funding has helped this transformation are Salford Quays, NewcastleGateshead, Bristol Harbourside and the Hanley area of Stoke. In the North East investment in major new cultural institutions such as BALTIC and Sage Gateshead has been the catalyst for the £1 billion redevelopment of east Gateshead leading to the creation of 10,000 jobs. BALTIC alone has resulted in the creation of 60 full-time jobs plus a further 40 full-time jobs servicing the gallery's catering and bar functions. Similar findings were revealed in a study of Salford Quays, which estimated that 11,000 new jobs were created in the local community with 6,500 of them attributable to The Lowry.

    —  Creative innovation: we support creative risk and experiment in individuals and organisations, recognising the role of the subsidised sector as a seedbed for talent that may later move into the commercial sector. There is considerable movement of talent between the "subsidised" arts sector to the more commercial end of the creative industries such as West End theatre, visual art, music, publishing and broadcasting. Without our investment the commercial sector would be more constrained and less successful.

    —  Creative organisations: we are committed to helping modernise the organisations that make up the arts infrastructure in this country. To that end support organisational development and new business models. We seek to share best practice and support knowledge transfer. Excellence in design and communications are critical and traffic online has increased the capacity of organisations such as Arnolfini, Baltic, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) and the Tate to extend their cultural offer.

    —  Education: Our work in education is key to new generations of creative producers and audiences, and as a driver for the creative industries. Over the last decade we have been developing and supporting initiatives that explore the creative uses of digital and media technologies within different learning contexts. Examples of this work are included in the appendix.

    —  International opportunities: the arts in the UK are respected worldwide and are a key way of presenting a positive, international image of modern, creative "Britishness". The arts have played a major part in the growth of creative industry export in the last 10 years. British art has contributed hugely to the growth in tourist income—cultural tourists come to see British theatre, visit Tate Modern, go on a pilgrimage to Stratford or go to our many festivals. Many artists have moved from being funded by the Arts Council to becoming international talents contributing to Britain's world-class status and to our creative economy. Examples include: Sam Mendes, Stephen Daldry, Simon Rattle, David Pountney, Chris Ofili, Rachel Whiteread and Matthew Bourne.

    —  Technology: we encourage artists and arts organisations to maximise the potential of developing technologies to develop new work and create greater access to work. Organisations such as New Work Network use the web as a locus of activity for peer-to-peer knowledge development and commissioning Forum. Others such as SCAN bring together partners from higher education, creative industries and the museum sector in innovative collaborations.

    —  Strategic initiatives: we also create strategic initiatives to influence policy and practice with respect to the impact of new media on all our lives—by encouraging debate and dialogue across arts and science borders, by setting up placements and fellowships and supporting network based activities in collaboration with other partners in academia and elsewhere. Arts Council England has been involved in many initiatives rooted in the creative industries since the 1990s. Through strategic funding, we have supported and developed new media practices, including through the New Media Projects fund, which ran for five years until 2002. This fund enabled over 70 projects to be delivered.

    —  Competition and Intellectual Property (IP): we are working with partners to develop new contractual models for artists and support structures for advice for those moving between subsidised and commercial sectors. We are heavily engaged with policy debates to best represent the needs of individual and independent artists in diverse artforms and we are developing, with partners, a code of best practice in relation to artists and the law.

    —  Evidence: we are building a robust body of evidence on the impact of the cultural industries by documenting and sharing good practice and case studies of artists and organisations working across subsidised and commercial borders, exploring innovative distribution methods and regularly collaborating with industry.


  Two recent Government papers have looked at the creative industries. The arguments have been well made that Britain's competitiveness cannot be based on undercutting competitors on cost and therefore needs to be based on adding value. This means making products more attractive through design, developing innovative solutions to business problems, creating new markets through brand association and marketing. We have recognised the relevance of these arguments and have been working to ensure that our investment bolsters and creates added value for the UK economy.

  The DTI Economic Paper, Creativity, Design and Business Performance,[3] recognised that culture and place have an impact on many of the drivers of creativity. It highlighted a number of crucial factors to economic success, including the importance of education in ensuring the supply of creativity and design skills in the labour force. It recognised the impact that our Creative Partnerships programme is having in this area.[4] Our visual arts department promotes the creative uses of ICT in formal and informal education and has stimulated debate on the implications of new technology for education, which has challenged traditional approaches to education. Similarly, the Cox Review acknowledged the role of education and Creative Partnerships.

  The review identified the position of the UK as a world leader in many of the creative industries, such as architecture, fashion, product design, advertising, the performing arts, games software and many aspects of film and broadcasting. In addition, it calculated that in 2003, they accounted for 8% of Gross Value Added (GVA), contributed £11.6 billion to the UK's balance of trade. Between 1997 and 2003, these industries grew by an average of 6% per annum—three times the rate of the economy as a whole.

  There is significant work taking place investigating the impact of new media and the creative industries and the Arts Council is contributing to this.

  Key initiatives are:

    —  the Creative Economy Programme developed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The Arts Council feeds into all the working groups, including Intellectual Property and Competitiveness. Sir Christopher Frayling, our chair, is leading the working group on Education and Skills;

    —  the Oxford Media Convention on Strategy and Regulation in the digital age, which took place on 19 January 2006;

    —  The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property consults in March 2006; and

    —  The Westminster Media Forum debate on Digital Rights Management and Intellectual Property takes place on 14 March, co-sponsored by the Arts Council.


  Arts Council England welcomes the opportunities that new media and technological developments create for artists and the art sector. However, we are aware that, at the same time as artists are presented with new ways to reach audiences and test their creative boundaries, there are a number of challenges presented to them with regard to the needs of audiences and their rights as artists. As the development agency for the arts in England, we believe we are uniquely placed to help balance those sometimes conflicting needs and therefore detailed below for the Committee's interest are some of the key issues that we are working to address.

The challenge for artists and arts organisations

  The opportunities created by new media and the creative industries are leading to a substantial shift in consumer behaviour. Artists, producers and arts organisations are being encouraged to recognise these trends. Libraries have been affected—losing a quarter of their users in the past decade, while book sales have risen. The BBC is facing unprecedented challenges from the way digital channels have fragmented audiences.

  There is no doubt that organisations need better information about current and potential audiences, allied to more effective strategies for marketing, customer relationship management and audience development. Better information technology systems will be vital. All arts organisations should be encouraged to explore new channels and programming for emerging markets. Better marketing by individual organisations will be just a small part of the solution.

  It is our role to support arts organisations as they develop new business models and that to balance the need to find new audiences and patterns of consumption with support for the kind of live experience that only the arts can deliver.

Artists and the law

  As a development agency for the arts and artists, the Arts Council has to consider the two aspects of intellectual property rights: the need to balance rewarding the artist for their creation; and the need to ensure that work reaches the widest possible audience.

  We believe legal systems that support contemporary creativity need to be sufficiently flexible to address both these needs—enabling artists whilst not restricting access and use. There is a role for the public sector in relation to enabling innovation. We give examples of how we might encourage this below.

  The rights of creative people are primarily expressed within copyright law. There are currently two major forces that shape the law. In most countries, intellectual property laws are developed in relation to the needs and creative imperatives of larger scale creative industries, such as movie and music businesses. At the international level, such laws are now shaped primarily by the rules governing international trade. Many creative practices and strategies fall outside the narrow protection of copyright law. Some creative work also runs the risk of breaking the law, as legal systems often do not take account of the network and distributed nature of contemporary art. Low cost legal advice may not be available to artists to ensure that they use licences and contracts as well as they should. Currently, very little attention has been paid to the needs of artists, smaller media players and the requirements of emerging forms of creative practice.

  The challenge with new systems of digital rights management will be to ensure that they are flexible and responsive enough to make sure they enhance rather than inhibit creativity. New solutions need to be found to make sure this happens. A "one size fits all" response will not work. As fluid models of distribution emerge in response to technological innovation, so sophisticated rights management solutions need to be found to support today's creative artists. Government has a role to play in making sure that competition and innovation are encouraged appropriately.

  In practice, artists can be quite pragmatic about copyright law: sometimes licensing the copyright in their works to other distributors; sometimes appropriating other peoples' work to generate something new; and sometimes giving their work away free for others to reuse. There are also new creative pressures on content producers caused by the focus on secondary exploitation rights and their potential revenues.

  We are working with partners to develop a series of recommendations in this area—a code of good practice for artists. This will include surveying artists' income sources, new trends in distribution and their impact on systems of ownership, contracts and the negotiation of intellectual property rights. We believe that artists will welcome this and make a contribution to the Government's developing approach to innovation and the creative industries.

  The Arts Council is very well aware of these issues. Since 2001, our interdisciplinary arts team has undertaken a number of initiatives:

    —  We have supported two major conferences, CODE (Collaboration and Ownership in the Digital Economy) in association with Cambridge University and Music & Technology (in association with the Royal Society of Arts).

    —  We have held one-day events, such as Intellectual Property and the Public Domain Summit (with the Royal Society of Arts) and Ways of Working 2—Appropriation and Collaboration in Contemporary Arts Practice (with University of Westminster).

    —  We have supported the testing of Creative Commons licensing in the UK in collaboration with Oxford University.

    —  We have supported the development of the Open Business project in association with international partners in Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.

    —  We have supported the development of Artquest's Q&A National Pilot that provides free legal support for artists.

    —  We are currently working on a major Artists and the Law programme, which will examine provision and developing need for legal services across arts forms.

    —   We are working with Own-it and Artquest, on the possibility of developing a national pilot to provide legal and business support in a joined-up way across the English regions.

    —  Members of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department have attended at least 10 conferences, seminars and workshops on intellectual property in the last year in order to keep abreast of current developments in the field.

    —  We are in close contact with leading intellectual property academics and specialist intellectual property units at Oxford, Cambridge, Queen Mary (London) and Edinburgh in the UK and with Stanford and Duke Universities in the US.

    —  All the above work is being developed in relation to the broader agenda of the "Artists Time Space and Money" project, which is examining the economic status of the artist and creative practitioner across the board.


Art form policies

  We are currently developing a new suite of art form policies. These will focus on music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature and interdisciplinary arts. They will be published later this year. The policies will recognise the development of the creative industries and the interaction between the creative industries and the subsidised arts sector. They will recognise the impact that technology is having on the arts, making it possible for many more people to participate in them, creating, performing, recording and distributing their own work. Technology also has the potential to increase the impact and reach of all arts organisations. We will encourage greater exploitation of existing and developing technology to extend the audience for the arts and to bring wider exposure for the sectors that we fund. To this end we will seek to further develop our partnerships with national broadcasters. In music, our long-term ambition is for the majority of the work of our leading companies to be accessible to the whole country through broadcasting and webcasting. We recognise that while this is a huge opportunity for the arts and for audiences, it does create some new challenges in the area of intellectual property. We will be working with arts organisations, with government and with other partners to address these challenges. (See Artists and the law.)

  We recognise that in a technology-rich world the live event is even more powerful and we will continue to support the development of those live experiences. From Glastonbury to the BBC Proms, from melas to carnival, from major arts centres to local community centres, the live arts have the power to unite communities locally, nationally and internationally.

Distribution policy

  We are also developing a distribution policy for publication later this year. We support the distribution of all kinds of art, making sure that the type of distribution is appropriate and efficient. Our distribution policy will focus on: live touring, publishing, broadcasting, and digitisation and will also consider the impact of new forms of distribution on income generation possibilities for artists, and the role that new technologies and ownership (intellectual property and copyright issues) play in this respect. We recognise there are many exciting opportunities involved in the exploitation of these new distribution challenges and we seek to make our policies as responsive and contemporary as possible to enable new talent to thrive and survive and to reach new audiences in appropriate ways. We believe that new distribution opportunities can offer extremely exciting ways to do this.

  Major music companies are now also recognising the potential of new media distribution, as are broadcasters like the BBC, which is in the cutting edge of podcasting. Our concern is to ensure that independents also find ways of capitalising on these possibilities.

  The Arts Council is already experimenting with legal and business models when we commission new work and developing these to meet the opportunities presented by digitisation and the Internet. For example, we are studying the use of the Creative Commons licences in large-scale schools and community arts projects that will be filmed and shown by a major broadcaster.

  Distribution has been at the heart of the Arts Council's work from its inception in 1946, when work began on assembling what is now the largest loan collection of modern and contemporary British art in the world. The South Bank Centre's Hayward Gallery manages the Arts Council Collection and uses it to create regular touring exhibitions around England. In addition, throughout our history, we have directly funded a wide range of performing arts organisations to tour their work throughout England. In 2005-06, we invested over £59 million in core funding to national live touring organisations.

  We have also moved quickly to respond to changing consumer patterns. For example, in an innovative partnership with the Poetry Library at the South Bank Centre, we have recently made available to the general public, free of charge on the Internet, a wide range of back issues of poetry magazines. We are now working with the South Bank Centre on a project to digitise the Arts Council Collection. We have a partnership with the University of Westminster to digitise and make available for research and educational purposes the Arts Council's Film Collection.

  We want to continue to expand the range of spaces within which art is presented, and the media by which it is distributed. We will do this by building upon our partnerships with local authorities, broadcasters, publishers and new media distributors as well as by forging new partnerships with organisations that we believe could play a key role within the arts infrastructure of the future. Examples of our expanded field of engagement include support of software for autonomous internet programmes by, virtual reality artworks by Blast Theory, Can you See Me Now and Desert Rain, and artists internet radio station Resonance FM. We are also key investors of research and development often in the context of partnership with the creative industries such as MELT, a partnership between BBC, Channel Four, the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT), Yorkshire Forward and Yorkshire Screen.

  Diversification is at the heart of our vision. Consumer patterns will continue to change rapidly and the artists and organisations we fund need to be at the forefront in responding to consumer demand. This will involve re-imagining what an arts experience can be for people, and thinking creatively about the different ways in which art can be distributed. We believe that the internet holds many opportunities for new forms of creative expression, which will be increasingly diverse and it is vital that the legal frameworks supporting this emergence also encourage and foster diversity and freedom of expression, development of independent and exciting new voices.


  Music is a particular area of interest for those looking at the possibilities for new media and technology. Recent technological developments have made music easily transferable between hardware and online communities. An obvious demonstration of this is the popularity of MP3 players, where it is possible for users to transfer music and download further tracks free of charge, even though it remains illegal to make such copies of music in the UK without payment. Record companies are becoming increasingly more protective of their material because of this, and an increase in music piracy. CDs are now likely to be copy protected and online broadcasts are likely to be encrypted or require listeners to pay a fee for access.

Visual arts

  The Committee will be aware of our submission to their previous consultation into the Market for Art, in which we outlined the issues facing artists and the art sector and what Arts Council England was doing to ensure that artists were being sufficiently supported. While we do not intend to revisit our submission here, it is worth noting some of the points raised because of their connection to the overall health of the creative industries.

  The art sector relies on the processes by which works of art are commissioned, researched, produced, promoted, presented, bought and sold and how creativity is converted into commercial value. This commercial value is significant to the overall UK economy with total sales for the United Kingdom in 1998 of £3,287 million or €4,765.1 million, representing over 60% of the European Union art trade.[5] Further analysis undertaken by Arts Council England[6] estimated that the value of sales through contemporary commercial galleries and open studios in England was worth £354.5 million in 2003, while international sales of London based commercial galleries and agents are likely to be at least double this figure.[7] Further analysis of market sales suggests that the total market for original craft is £883 million.[8]

  If the UK is to remain a world leader in visual arts and crafts, it is imperative that it embraces new media and technological developments. We have therefore worked to empower artists with the right skills and understanding to adapt to the changing working environment. Examples of this include:

    —  Artist Professional Development (APD) Network, funded by Arts Council England as part of Creative People programme, is a small but increasingly influential resource for artists. The APD Network initiated by a-n in July 2001, is a UK-wide intelligence and exchange forum for organisations that are proactively developing information, advisory, training and professional development services for visual and applied artists. Members range from artist-led organisations to cultural industries bodies and higher education institutions.

    —  Artquest offers advice and information to professional visual artists and craftspeople in London through a website, email and telephone helpline, advice sessions, events and initiatives. With a grant from Arts Council England, Artquest is currently testing a national legal advisory service for visual artists.

    —  Studio spaces are vital because artists need somewhere affordable and sustainable to work. The provision of artists' workspace is a priority of the Arts Capital Programme. To date, we have invested approximately £69 million[9] through capital funds.

    —  Private View and Animate commissions for artists by the BBC and Channel Four respectively. Critical for equipping artists with production experience in a professional broadcast context and also for ensuring Arts Council England is a broker of creative innovation.

    —  We have encouraged and consolidated vital promotion, critical discussion and professional networking of new media artists, curator/producers and practice through high profile partnership based events such as our British New Media Art conference at Tate Britain in 2004 and more recently we supported the independent initiated Curating, Immateriality, Systems a conference on curating digital media at Tate Modern in 2005. Baltic in Newcastle-upon-Tyne has established a unique series of publications and conferences stimulating professional development around practice and curating. Through these strategic and funded initiatives we have responded to the need for flexibility and exchange across a range of specialist funded and commercial sectors.

    —  We funded Wireless London, a report and Wireless Festival delivered in 2005 which explored recent developments in wireless networking (WLAN) in London by comparing a range of networks built by freenetwork groups, commercial hotspot providers, and public sector initiatives recommending the need to encourage public sector led enterprises and partnerships and the development of WLAN in the home.

Broadcasting strategy

  As part of our distribution policy we are developing a strategy for our engagement with broadcasters. We believe that broadcasting offers a mechanism for growing the audience for the arts, making the case for the value of the arts, and giving artists a space to create and develop new work.

  Arts Council England has partnerships with all the major broadcasters—BBC, Channel Four, FIVE and to a lesser extent ITV. Over the past few years we have developed a long-term partnership with the BBC, expressed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The BBC and Arts Council England have considered how they could work together more effectively by establishing a partnership to deliver complementary objectives for the development of the arts and arts broadcasting across England. As the largest patrons of the arts in England, we support and nurture artists, providing new commissions for writers and performers, backing creative risk taking and innovation and we have a shared cultural entitlement agenda. We are committed to working across platforms and between the "live" and broadcast arts sectors with the objective of building and sustaining audiences for the arts and fostering the country's creative talent. A copy of this MOU is provided in the appendix along with details of current projects that are of interest to this inquiry.


  Arts Council England has engaged with external partners to develop ideas and investigate issues relating to new media and the creative industries. These areas of research and development include:

Digital convergence and media technology

    —  Building on many years of engagement with new media technologies and the arts,[10] we recently organised in conjunction with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Watershed Media Centre, Bristol the "Up To Speed": The Potential of Broadband as a New Space for Research, Development and Production event. This event explored the potential for high-speed broadband networks as a new space for cultural research, production and distribution and drew together researchers, creative industries, arts and media practitioners and policy makers including the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) to address the key challenges and opportunities in collaborative partnerships and knowledge transfer between these sectors.

    —  We are producing case studies of innovative partnerships across the arts and commercial sectors—one example is Under Blue Skies, involved a partnership between Arts Council England, the Watershed Media Centre and Hewlett Packard. Details for this example are provided in the appendix.

    —  Arts Council England also contributes to the DCMS Creative Industries and Higher Education Forum and plays a key role in the forum's research and knowledge transfer task group. This group offers opportunities for knowledge exchange between arts, humanities and sciences in the interests of innovation at research and development stages. The group produced a paper ("Unweaving the Rainbow: research, innovation and risk in the creative economy") that recommends a re-evaluation of the current limitations of the current classification framework for research and development in the creative industries. The group will also be feeding into the forthcoming review of Intellectual Property Rights set up by the Chancellor and the Minister for the Creative Industries. Arts Council England will be working closely with the AHRC, which leads this task group to represent the interests of the public sector and ideas of public value in relation to the forum and the review.

    —  We invest in a range of challenging projects such as Marisa Carnesky's Ghost Train which was a full scale working ride using audio-visual. It was toured to east London, Birmingham, Glastonbury Festival and Manchester. Another example includes Ghost Ship; a partnership between Locus + and the Southampton University Marine engineering department, and the artist Chris Burden. This project gained wide national coverage. It involved a computer aided boat sailing unmanned from the Fair Isles to Newcastle as part of the international Tall Ships Race. Mute magazine has just switched to being produced through print on demand (POD) technology and have added a facility for users to make their own personalised collections of POD content, straight from the website.

    —  The ArtPark project, currently in development, involves the creation of an enhanced technical infrastructure for FACT that will support future development and needs within the media arts sector and create a strong technical platform for the organisation. It will provide a national support structure for web based artwork, a resource and archive facility for new media art and an online environment linking a number of community-based remote access points (satellites) to FACT's facilities and resources.

    —  Arts Council England is represented on the DCMS Live Music Forum. The aim of this Forum is to work with the music industry and other key stakeholders to promote the performance of live music and to monitor the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on this artform. The forum is charged with responsibility to implement initiatives that will promote the performance of live music.

    —  Arts Council England encourages the research and development of practice essential to new media work through our regularly funded organisations. The Digital Research Unit based in Huddersfield, crosses over with contemporary art, new media creative industries and higher education and facilitates the creative research ambitions for artists.

Arts and the Law

  Arts Council England is undertaking a long-term programme of activity about art and law, which began in 2001. A key starting project for this work was a conference with CODE (Collaboration and Ownership in the Digital Economy) looking at how innovation is stimulated by means of collaboration, networking and new models of intellectual property including open source approaches within software. In 2004 we supported the Intellectual Property and the Public Domain Summit at the Royal Society of Arts. This brought together artists, activists, and industry representatives to examine the role of IP in terms of new business models, innovation and public access to cultural materials.

    —  On intellectual property and new business models, we held The Music and Technology conference in association with the Royal Society of Arts, which included many speakers from industry as well as lawyers and consumer groups. Ways of Working 2 examined the artist's relationship to the developing relationship with copyright law.

    —  The Open Business Project—is an international project with partners in Argentina, Brazil and South Africa, examining and indexing new modes of business that are developing in relation to a changing intellectual property environment. This includes an online resource that collates and distributes information about new models of business and cultural practice. The project has only been running for a few months and is already receiving 4,000 hits a week.

  One key area of work concerning artists and the law is that surrounding the use of the Creative Commons licences. The Creative Commons licences, which are now part of UK law, provide access to digital materials and, under certain conditions, permit the creative use of copyrighted material. Prior to their adoption into our legal framework, Arts Council England worked in collaboration with Oxford University, holding a joint workshop with a dozen artists to test the licenses. We are currently working with the BBC Creative Archive on a one-year project that supports two artists, to look at a licensing system they have developed that is similar to the Creative Commons licences, to produce new works within the Creative Archive project. We are currently assessing the use of these licences in conjunction with the Young Foundation and the Open Society Institute. A report on this project will be available in early spring.


  New media and the creative industries are becoming increasingly important to all the work of artists and arts organisations. While our development work in this area has been going on for some time, it is only in the last few years that its value has been recognised in an economic and international context by other organisations and Government.

  Our submission outlines some of the areas of our new media and the creative industries activity. There is a great deal more happening within our sector that we have not included, not least because some of the work is yet to be completed. However, the next few years will be significant for our policies in this area, and as Government becomes more aware of the direct benefits of supporting these areas of the economy, the more we can showcase the crucial work of those artists and arts organisations within it.

  However, we believe there are two matters outlined in our submission that the Committee may wish to focus on. Firstly, issues concerning artists and the law, particularly developments around digital rights management systems. We believe that the Government has a role to play in making sure that competition and innovation are encouraged appropriately, and this has to be balanced against the needs of artists. Additionally, we have noted in our submission that there is a need for appropriate training and low-cost legal solutions for artists and arts organisations around their legal rights. While Arts Council England is working in this area, the Committee's support for ensuring appropriate support mechanisms would be welcome. Finally, we would remind the Committee of our Arts Council England distribution policy (p.10), which we believe provides a mechanism for engaging some of the challenges and opportunities the Committee is addressing. We also welcome your support for this approach.

28 February 2006

1   The Cox Review of Creativity in Business: building on the UK's strengths. Back

2   DCMS Creative Industries Fact File. Back

3   DTI Economic Paper No 15-Creativity, Design and Business Performance. Back

4   "Creative Partnerships, the Government's flagship contribution to creativity in school education seeks to address this by involving creative organisations in projects that focus on developing literacy and numeracy skills but do so in a way that also enhances and engages children's creativity." Back

5   Market Tracking International Company Limited (MTIC) (2000) The European Art Market 2000, London: The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). Back

6   Morris, Hargreaves and McIntyre (2004), Taste buds: how to cultivate the art market: executive summary. London: Arts Council England. Back

7   Louisa Buck (2004), Market Matters: The Dynamics of the Contemporary Art Market, Arts Council England. Back

8   Morris, Hargreaves and McIntyre (2005), Making it to Market: Developing the Market for Contemporary Fine Craft, Arts Council England. Back

9   Based on all capital awards to visual arts projects over past 10 years to artists studios/workspaces. Back

10   Arts Council England provided the UK Representation on the Council of Europe's Culture, Communication and New Technologies Committee in 1998-2000. Back

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